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HQ 950025

November 13, 1991

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 950025 KWM


TARIFF NO.: 3926.90.9050

Mr. Tommy Lai
Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office
British Embassy
1233 20th Street, N.W., Suite 504
Washington, D.C. 20036

RE: Box covered with flocked paper; Jewelry box; Watch box; Wholly or mainly covered; Textile; Paper; Plastic; Plastic sheeting; Flock; Flocked paper.

Dear Mr. Lai:

This is in response to your letter dated July 12, 1991, regarding the classification of merchandise described as "plastic watch boxes."


The sample enclosed with your request is a rectangular box measuring approximately 24.5 cm (9 3/4 inches) by 5.5 cm (2 inches) by 2.3 cm (1 inch). The box is composed of several materials: A frame made directly to shape from liquid plastic; A flocked paper covering the external surface of the box; Metal trim on the exterior of the box; An insert composed of unidentified textile materials glued to paperboard. The inner lining is printed with the name of the primary article's manufacturer (in this case "ADOLFO Quality Quartz Watches").The lining is also fitted with tabs for securing the watch in the box. The completed box is inserted in a paperboard sleeve also imprinted with the name of the primary article's manufacturer.

Your letter references two entries through United States Customs: numbers C41-0023703-0 and C41-0023707-1. Further, your letter asks that this office "review the sample's classification." Our records show that the above entries have been liquidated, and that a protest was filed regarding the duty rate paid. Those protest have since been resolved. It is unclear from your letter whether you are requesting a review of the final protest decision or a binding ruling for prospective transactions. Because your submission does not provide the background material or supporting documentation to review a protest decision, and because the regulations prescribe particular criteria for such a procedure, we consider your July 12, 1991, letter a request for a binding ruling for future transactions in this merchandise.


How is the merchandise classified under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated?


Classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA) is made in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's). The systematic detail of the harmonized system is such that virtually all goods are classified by application of GRI 1, that is, according to the terms of the headings of the tariff schedule and any relevant Section or Chapter Notes. In the event that the goods cannot be classified solely on the basis of GRI 1, and if the headings and legal notes do not otherwise require, the remaining GRI's may be applied, taken in order.

In this case, we have considered HTSUSA heading 4202, which provides for, inter alia:

Trunks, suitcases, vanity cases, attache cases, briefcases, school satchels, spectacle cases, binocular cases, camera cases, musical instrument cases, gun cases, holsters and similar containers; toiletry bags, knapsacks, purses, map cases, cigarette cases, tobacco pouches, toolbags, sports bags, bottle cases, jewelry boxes, powder case, cutlery cases and similar containers, of leather or of composition leather, of plastic sheeting, of textile materials, of vulcanized fiber or paperboard, or wholly or mainly covered with such materials.

To be classified in the above heading, articles must first meet two basic criteria: they must be one of, or similar to, the named articles, and they must be "of . . . or wholly or mainly covered" with one of the specified materials.

The instant articles are considered to be composed of two primary materials: plastics and paper. The box frames are of plastics (as opposed to plastic sheeting) because they are made directly to shape from liquid plastics. The flocked paper material is considered a paper product which, if imported separately, would be classified in the provisions of chapter 48, HTSUSA. The articles cannot be classified in heading 4202, HTSUSA, because they fail to meet the material requirements for goods provided for in the latter portion of that heading. We do not need to determine whether the product is described by one of the heading's eo nomine terms, since it has already been excluded based on construction.

Because we find no other eligible heading(s), we consider GRI 3 and the essential character of the article to decide it's classification. As noted, the two principal materials present here are plastics and paper. With regard to constituent role, we find the two materials equal. We believe the predominant material, in terms of weight, bulk, and cost to be the plastics. Therefore, we classify the sample watch box as an other article of plastics.


The plastic watch boxes are classified as other articles
of plastics, in subheading 3926.90.9050, HTSUSA. The applicable rate of duty is 5.3 percent ad valorem.


John A. Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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